Murcia became the principal airport for Brits owning property at La Manga Club. This was a huge complex originally funded by P&O, a British Company, and apart from the British management, an attraction was the golfing facilities often supplemented by big name golfing personalities offering golf practice and lessons. La Manga, although in the early days it looked like it would be a white elephant, expanded and then similar developments started nearby resulting in a boom. I believe that P&O organised the initial charter flights from UK to Murcia with airlines such as Dan-Air, Air 2000 etc.
Murcia was the nearest airport to La Manga. Passengers traveling into/from Murcia avoided the congestion, delays, package tourists and lager louts at Alicante, Girona etc.
I remember in its early days when there was only a weekly Saturday charter flight from the UK direct to La Manga, many locals went to the airport simply to watch the landing and take off. Security was then relaxed and I remember the Spanish sitting near the aircraft with their picnics, vino and cerveza. How times have changed.
The LCCs have also found that Murcia offers advantages over neighbouring airports, hence more passengers
[Edited 2005-05-25 12:05:07]
MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."